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Arab Delegation Says Bashar 'Eager' to End Syria Crisis

A Qatar-led delegation from the Arab League is in Damascus hoping to mediate an end to Syria's undrest as violence continues.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 10/28/2011, 1:51 PM

Syrian security forces employing snipers killed a teenager and killed three others during raids on anti-regime demonstrations on Friday.

The sniper slayings come on the heels of President Bashar al-Assad's conference with Arab League delegation led by Qatar, are visiting Syria in an attempt to mediate an end to the seven month uprising that has rocked Israel's northeastern neighbor.

Qatari Prime Minister Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Bin Jabr Al Thani was quoted by Reuters as saying the Arab delegation felt that the Syrian government is eager to work with the Arab committee, "in order to reach a solution".

Hamad also told reporters the Arab committee and the Syrian government will hold another meeting on Sunday either in Syria or in Qatar.

"What is important for us is that there are no victims from any side in Syria," Shaikh Hamad told reporters.

"The fighting should stop and the dialogue should begin between the Syrian brothers so that, God willing, they agree on points that fulfil people demands."

Hamad was referring to the latest wave of violence which had left at least 27 people, including 11 military, dead in Syria by the time he spoke to reporters.

The now-daily fatal raids occurred in the central region of Homs and the southern province of Daraa, two hotbeds of dissent hardest hit by Assad's crackdown, the activists said.

"A 15-year-old minor was killed and three people were wounded by security forces during raids," in the town of Dael, near the southern city of Daraa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

According to the Observatory, three other civilians were killed in the region of Homs, one shot by sniper fire, the other by security forces.

The nascent 70 member Syrian National Council, which has come to the fore of Syria's protest movement, has rejected any talks with Assad saying the president must first end his crackdown on demonstrators. They have also rejected Assad's reforms as "self serving."

Assad's brutal crackdown had killed at least 3,000 people since mid-March, according to UN figures, which mount daily.